Top Common Causes of IBS You Need to Know in 2024

by Dr. Nick Zyrowski May 31, 2024

Dealing with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be frustrating at best. According to recent data, between 2.4 and 3.5 million people visit their doctor every year for this problem. (1) Some may be experiencing abdominal pain and bloating, while others have chronic diarrhea. Many people even have constipation and fail to recognize this as IBS. To add to the frustration, patients go to their regular practitioner and then often get referred to a gastrointestinal specialist, thereby waiting even longer to address the issue. If you’re tired of the healthcare cycle, we have good news for fixing your IBS in this article.

IBS Symptoms

We’ve reviewed the main symptoms, like bloating, belly pain, constipation, and diarrhea. There are also some sneaky symptoms that you may not have pieced together as part of this unique puzzle. One of those is gas. Many people who have IBS begin to notice an increase in gas, which can be part of the bloating they experience. Another unique symptom could be alternating constipation with loose stools. You may also have an urgency to go to the restroom.

Along with these typical signs, other symptoms don’t seem related to your gut. You may not tie them together at first. (2) Some of these are:

  • Migraines
  • Sleep problems
  • Pelvic pain
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cognitive problems
  • Joint pain

Causes of IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome may have several causes. One of the problems with modern healthcare is that we don’t often look for the underlying causes. Instead, we are given a prescription and told to live with the issue or continue medicating it. Let’s look at some of the causes to help learn how you can treat IBS because this is a fixable issue.

Food sensitivities

Having sensitivity is not the same as having food allergies. These are very common and most of the time, can be caused by gluten. Dairy is another source that can irritate the gut. You may have a hard time digesting certain foods. This means you have an intolerance that could be triggered by your digestive system. If you eliminate these foods, you can see a change in your overall health. If you aren’t sure what foods may be causing these issues, you can take a quick food sensitivities test. Your results will show what foods you should avoid. Alternatively, you could try an elimination diet where you remove specific foods and then add them back one at a time to see how your body responds.


Unlike the good bacteria in your gut, you can have some unhealthy bacteria, too. If your gut ecosystem is out of balance, you will likely have IBS symptoms. You can think of your gut microbiome as an environment where the good guys are fighting off the bad ones. Most bacteria are in your large intestine, but when they move into your small intestine, that area is no longer sterile. When you eat starchy foods, the bacteria in your gut ferment that food. Then you feel the uncomfortable gas and bloating. This is a common sign of SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. (3) If you suspect that you have SIBO, click here to learn how we naturally reverse SIBO.

Yeast Overgrowth

You will have a certain amount of yeast in your gut, but you don’t want too much of it. How do you get too much yeast? It happens when you’ve taken antibiotics, steroids, acid-blocking medications, and other drugs. (4) You can also obtain overgrowth when you eat a lot of sugar. If you suspect you have yeast overgrowth, you can take specific pharmaceutical medicines to rid your gut of it, but there are also powerful nutrients that can naturally help remove the overgrowth. Using a blend of herbs and other nutrients, like those contained in Microbe Cleanse, can fight yeast conditions and support GI health.

Too Much Stress

We know life comes with a certain amount of stress. It’s unavoidable in today’s fast-paced world, and not all stress is bad. The problem is when we have too much stress it can cause a reaction in our gut. As strange as it may seem, stress can change your gut nervous system. Lowering your stress is crucial to restoring gut health.

Resetting Your Gut

Once you remove the bad stuff, you want to replace it with healthy items that make your gut strong. That means incorporating things like digestive enzymes, fiber, and prebiotics. You may not need to take these forever. Many people only take them for a few months.

You want to repopulate your gut with healthy bacteria. Often, when you’ve taken medications, it wipes out the healthy bacteria, and you need to add the good stuff back. Quality probiotics will allow your digestion to work properly again. (5) Adding some probiotic-rich foods to your diet will help, too. Consider foods like kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, and plain yogurt if you aren’t sensitive to dairy products.

Repairing the Gut

What we’ve found clinically with many patients is that IBS can often occur when you have a leaky gut. That simply means your gut lining is weakened and inflamed. Once you remove the gut offenders and replace them with all the healthy bacteria and nutrients, you want to repair and reinforce your gut lining. You do this by adding the appropriate nutrients, like l-glutamine, aloe vera, arabinogalactan, and licorice root. These all help the gut heal. One of the most important things you can do for a leaky gut is to avoid processed foods and sugar. (6)

The Gut Connection

If you’ve read our articles or watched our videos, you know how crucial gut health is to your overall well-being. In recent years, studies have shown that the gut is related to many health conditions. Unfortunately, we do so many things today that can disrupt our gut microbiome, from eating too much sugar to taking dangerous medications. Functional medicine focuses on finding the underlying causes of health issues and using natural methods to fix the problems.

You may not even know how bad you feel until you don’t feel that way! Some people ignore their health issues and start thinking this is the way they were made. The truth is, you can fix IBS. It is not normal or natural to be plagued by gut problems. We want to help you take control of your health and teach you the simple methods to become a wellness warrior. Contact us to learn more about gut health and find the solutions to many of today’s health concerns.


Dr. Nick Zyrowski
Dr. Nick Zyrowski

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